As smartphone use increases in popularity, so too does the risks associated with them. These types of phones create easy access to social media sites but unfortunately, a lot of young children are not aware of the associated dangers.
While many of the apps are aimed at being fun, it is important that mums are aware of the dangers and that they teach their youngster proper use of social media.
Ask yourself: “Do they really need a smartphone?”
Before you hand over money, question whether your tween actually needs a smartphone. If you are getting them a phone so that you can reach them, an ordinary phone would do the trick.
Make rules together
If you do decide to get them a smartphone, make sure you sit down together and discuss the rules that come attached with the phone. Establish limits such as not allowing the phone after a certain time and define consequences if they break them.
Try to stay up to date with social media apps. This doesn’t mean that you have to set up an account but to be aware of the most popular ones. This way you can try to be one step ahead of your little one.
Keep the lines of communication open
The best way to ensure that you always know what is going on in your tween’s life is to keep the lines of communication open. Try to engage them in conversation about their life and their interest. Remember, if you automatically ban your child from doing something without understanding it you risk causing them to clamp up.
Teach them to be aware
Children who post pictures of themselves online are usually looking for approval or attention from their peers. However, by doing this they are putting themselves at risk of bullying, self depreciation and online abuse. Make sure your child is aware of the dangers that she is putting herself in by posting pictures.